Tuesday 17th October 2017

Resource Clips


Posts tagged ‘nickel’

Canadians need to get past the Klondike to understand mining’s contributions: Stan Sudol

October 13th, 2017

by Greg Klein | October 13, 2017

Rights offerings to be streamlined, says CSA

Like the nugget in this prospector’s hand, the
Klondike’s place in history looms unrealistically large.

The Fraser, Cariboo and Klondike gold rushes undoubtedly played an important nation-building role, with the latter becoming especially famous “thanks to terrific public relations from writers like Jack London, Pierre Berton and Robert Service,” says Stan Sudol. But how important were those events when the Yukon coughed up about 12 million gold ounces, “small change compared to the Timmins camp which is currently at 73 million ounces and counting!”

In a speech to the Canadian Business History Association Conference the Sudbury native and communications consultant/mining strategist/speech writer/mining blogger related how Ontario’s gold and base metals discoveries far surpassed the western gold rushes for their importance to the Canadian economy. “Notwithstanding the historical hype of the Klondike the two most important mining events in our history are the discoveries of the Sudbury nickel mines in 1883 and the Cobalt silver boom of 1903.”

And, he notes, while London, Berton and Service missed out on these developments, Sudbury did attract the attention of Stompin’ Tom Connors.

Sudol outlines the history of the Ontario and Quebec camps, looking at their social and environmental impacts as well as economic contributions. His compelling account takes readers up to the present, as mining in the Northwest Territories and Nunavut helps create an indigenous middle class.

Read it here on the Republic of Mining.

Visual Capitalist: One chart shows EVs’ potential impact on commodities

September 15th, 2017

by Jeff Desjardins | posted with permission of Visual Capitalist | September 15, 2017

 

One chart shows EVs’ potential impact on commodities

The Chart of the Week is a Friday feature from Visual Capitalist.

 

How demand could change in a 100% EV world

What would happen if you flipped a switch and suddenly every new car that came off assembly lines was electric?

It’s obviously a thought experiment, since right now EVs have close to just 1% market share worldwide. We’re still years away from EVs even hitting double-digit demand on a global basis, and the entire supply chain is built around the internal combustion engine, anyways.

At the same time, however, the scenario is interesting to consider. One recent projection, for example, put EVs at a 16% penetration by 2030 and then 51% by 2040. This could be conservative depending on the changing regulatory environment for manufacturers—after all, big markets like China, France and the UK have recently announced that they plan on banning gas-powered vehicles in the near future.

The thought experiment

We discovered this “100% EV world” thought experiment in a UBS report that everyone should read. As a part of their UBS Evidence Lab initiative, they tore down a Chevy Bolt to see exactly what is inside, and then had 39 of the bank’s analysts weigh in on the results.

After breaking down the metals and other materials used in the vehicle, they noticed a considerable amount of variance from what gets used in a standard gas-powered car. It wasn’t just the battery pack that made a difference—it was also the body and the permanent-magnet synchronous motor that had big implications.

As a part of their analysis, they extrapolated the data for a potential scenario where 100% of the world’s auto demand came from Chevy Bolts, instead of the current auto mix.

The implications

If global demand suddenly flipped in this fashion, here’s what would happen:

Material Demand increase Notes
Lithium 2,898% Needed in all lithium-ion batteries
Cobalt 1,928% Used in the Bolt’s NMC cathode
Rare Earths 655% Bolt uses neodymium in permanent magnet motor
Graphite 524% Used in the anode of lithium-ion batteries
Nickel 105% Used in the Bolt’s NMC cathode
Copper 22% Used in permanent magnet motor and wiring
Manganese 14% Used in the Bolt’s NMC cathode
Aluminum 13% Used to reduce weight of vehicle
Silicon 0% Bolt uses six to 10 times more semiconductors
Steel -1% Uses 7% less steel, but fairly minimal impact on market
PGMs -53% Catalytic converters not needed in EVs

Some caveats we think are worth noting:

The Bolt is not a Tesla

The Bolt uses an NMC cathode formulation (nickel, manganese and cobalt in a 1:1:1 ratio), versus Tesla vehicles which use NCA cathodes (nickel, cobalt and aluminum, in an estimated 16:3:1 ratio). Further, the Bolt uses a permanent-magnet synchronous motor, which is different from Tesla’s AC induction motor—the key difference being rare earth usage.

Big markets, small markets

Lithium, cobalt and graphite have tiny markets, and they will explode in size with any notable increase in EV demand. The nickel market, which is more than $20 billion per year, will also more than double in this scenario. It’s also worth noting that the Bolt uses low amounts of nickel in comparison to Tesla cathodes, which are 80% nickel.

Meanwhile, the 100% EV scenario barely impacts the steel market, which is monstrous to begin with. The same can be said for silicon, even though the Bolt uses six to 10 times more semiconductors than a regular car. The market for PGMs like platinum and palladium, however, gets decimated in this hypothetical scenario—that’s because their use as catalysts in combustion engines are a primary source of demand.

Posted with permission of Visual Capitalist.

Castle Silver Resources to study possible new plant and processing deal with Granada Gold Mine

September 11th, 2017

by Greg Klein | September 11, 2017

A gold milling arrangement now under consideration could offer synergies to two companies with overlapping management, directors and staff. Under an MOU signed by Castle Silver Resources TSXV:CSR and Granada Gold Mine TSXV:GGM, Castle Silver will study the potential installation of a 600-tpd gravity flotation plant at one of its northern Ontario properties. The facility would process feed from the proposed Granada gold mine across the Quebec border near Rouyn-Noranda. Castle Silver expects to complete the study in Q4.

Castle Silver Resources to study possible new plant and processing deal with Granada Gold Mine

Granada’s proposed mine reached pre-feas
in 2014 and a resource update in May.

A resource update released last May used a 0.39 g/t cutoff to show an in-pit measured and indicated total of 21.57 million tonnes averaging 1.16 g/t for 807,700 gold ounces. An underground inferred category for an area north of the potential open pit used a 1.5 g/t cutoff for 10.38 million tonnes averaging 4.56 g/t for 1.52 million ounces. Granada stated the new 43-101 supersedes the pre-feasibility report released in 2014.

The company describes its project as fully permitted, shovel-ready and one of the region’s largest undeveloped gold projects.

Meanwhile Castle Silver waits on assays for its namesake flagship, where summer drilling sunk 22 holes totalling 2,405 metres. Chip and bulk sampling results from the former underground silver mine have returned gold, cobalt and nickel grades in addition to silver. More bulk sampling is planned.

Castle Silver has raised $2.6 million since March.

Update: Berkwood Resources continues to drill visible graphite in Quebec

August 31st, 2017

by Greg Klein | updated August 31, 2017

Assays have yet to arrive, but two holes reported last week and another five on August 31 have all produced near-surface core with visible graphite from Berkwood Resources’ (TSXV:BKR) Lac Gueret South project. The Phase I program calls for nine more shallow holes between about 60 and 120 metres in depth.

The company cautioned that visible indications don’t necessarily coincide with significant grades. But the results do justify continuing the program as planned, Berkwood stated.

Lac Gueret South borders the property hosting Mason Graphite’s (TSXV:LLG) high-grade graphite deposit. A 2014 airborne EM survey over Berkwood’s land found several zones of high conductivity.

Last week’s news from the property’s Site #1 reported 3.1 metres and 38.29 metres of visible graphite from BK1-01-17, along with 2.7 metres and 9.9 metres from BK1-02-17. The depths corresponded with electromagnetic conductors.

Berkwood Resources continues to drill visible graphite in Quebec

The first seven holes have brought observable
encouragement to Berkwood Resources’ Lac Gueret South.

Among new findings from Site #2, about 110 metres north, BK1-03-17 displayed the right stuff in seven intervals ranging between 1.46 metres and 28.2 metres in width.

Another Site #2 hole, BK1-04-17 showed graphite “continuously from 26.7 metres to 79.24 metres in variable amounts and styles,” Berkwood stated.

At Site #3, another 65 kilometres north, BK1-05-17 revealed graphite over four intervals with thicknesses between 3.2 metres and 14.12 metres. BK1-06-17 brought intervals of 13.22 metres and 1.14 metres.

About 87 metres east, BK1-07-17 on Site #4 showed 5.94 metres of graphite.

True widths weren’t provided.

The company holds two land parcels adjacent to the Mason property, Berkwood’s 100%-optioned, 5,714-hectare Lac Gueret South and the 100%-held, 2,052-hectare Lac Gueret East. The properties sit about three hours by road from the deep-sea port of Baie-Comeau.

Last month the company announced acquisition of the Delbreuil property in Quebec’s Abitibi, where an historic, non-43-101 sample assayed 1,290 ppm lithium and 126 ppm tantalum. Historic drill results also showed zinc, nickel, copper, silver and cobalt.

In another energy mineral acquisition last June, Berkwood announced an agreement to take on the Cobalt Ford property, located about four hours’ driving time from Baie-Comeau. Historic, non-43-101 work suggests prospectivity for base metals as well as cobalt.

This week the company closed private placements totalling $985,180.

Castle Silver Resources assays more gold from Ontario cobalt-polymetallic project

August 31st, 2017

by Greg Klein | August 31, 2017

Phase I surface drilling originally planned for 1,500 metres has wrapped up on 22 holes totalling 2,405 metres as Castle Silver Resources TSXV:CSR sees new polymetallic potential from a former mine near Ontario’s Cobalt camp. Drill core assays are pending but re-evaluation of five chip samples ranged from 0.72 grams per tonne to 7.03 g/t gold, averaging 3.7 g/t. The original assays for the same samples, reported last June, averaged 1.06% cobalt, 5.3% nickel and 17.5 g/t silver. The samples were selected from 200 kilograms taken just inside the adit.

Castle Silver Resources assays more gold at Ontario cobalt-polymetallic project

An expanded drill program has Castle Silver Resources
anticipating results for precious, base and energy metals.

Castle Silver had the samples evaluated for gold after an 82-kilogram bulk sample of vein material showed 5.7 g/t gold, as well as 46.3 g/t silver and 1.48% cobalt in results reported last month.

More bulk sampling will follow now that IOS Services Géoscientifiques has tested the property’s vein structures with Niton portable XRF technology. The results will help identify targets for bulk sampling and underground drilling after the former mine’s drift has been rehabilitated.

Using a 14.8% cobalt concentrate produced from recently sampled material, Castle Silver plans tests with its proprietary Re-2OX hydrometallurgical process to produce cobalt hydroxide samples. The company also intends to gauge Re-2OX’s potential to recover lithium and cobalt from Li-ion batteries.

“We’re seeing the potential for a variety of mineralization types within the Castle mine, well beyond just the high-grade silver that was recovered intermittently during the 1900s,” said president/CEO Frank Basa. “CSR is well funded to carry out its plans for a strong operational finish to 2017.”

Last month the company closed a private placement of $897,500, bringing the total since March to nearly $2.6 million.

Robert Friedland’s favourites

July 28th, 2017

Unprecedented demand calls for unparalleled grades, the industry legend says

by Greg Klein

For all that’s being said about lithium and cobalt, Robert Friedland argues that the energy revolution also depends on copper and platinum group elements. Of course he has a stake in them himself, with Kamoa-Kakula and Platreef among his current enthusiasms. Still, whether motivated by self-interest or not, the mining titan whom Rick Rule calls “serially successful” presented a compelling case for his favourite metals at the Sprott Natural Resource Symposium in Vancouver on July 25.

We’re living in “an era of unprecedented change,” said Ivanhoe Mines’ TSX:IVN founding chairperson. China’s the main cause. That country’s “breeding mega-cities prodigiously.” But one result is “incredibly toxic air… with a whole suite of health effects” from heart attacks to stroke, asthma to Alzheimer’s.

Unprecedented demand calls for unparalleled grades, the industry legend says

A crew operates jumbo rigs to bring
Ivanhoe’s Platreef mine into PGM production.

China’s not alone. Friedland pegs current global population growth at 83 million a year, with a projected 8.5 billion people populating the planet by 2030. Five billion will inhabit urban areas. Forecasts for 2050 show 6.3 billion city-dwellers. But China, notorious for its poisoned atmosphere, “is on an air pollution jihad.” It’s an all-out effort to turn back the “airpocalypse” and, with a command economy, a goal that shall be achieved.

The main target will be the internal combustion engine, responsible for about 60% of urban air pollution, Friedland said. China now manufactures 19 million cars annually, he adds. The country plans to increase output to 60 million, a goal obviously contrary to the war on pollution unless it emphasizes electric vehicles.

Like others, Friedland sees massive disruption as the economics of EVs overtake those of internal combustion engines, a scenario he expects by 2022 or 2023.

Demand for lithium-ion batteries (comprising 4% lithium, 80% nickel sulphate and 15% cobalt) has sent cobalt prices soaring. But bigger EVs will likely rely on hydrogen fuel cells, he pointed out. They’re already used in electric SUVs, pickup trucks, double-decker buses in London, trains in Germany and China, and, expected imminently, autonomous air taxis in Dubai.

Hydrogen fuel cells need PGMs. If only one-tenth of China’s planned EV output used the technology, demand would call for the world’s entire platinum supply, Friedland said.

“I would rather own platinum than gold,” he declared. Additionally, “there’s no platinum central reserve bank to puke out platinum.”

Ivanhoe just happens to have PGMs, about 42 million ounces indicated and 52.8 million ounces inferred, at its 64%-held Platreef project in South Africa.

Unprecedented demand calls for unparalleled grades, the industry legend says

Underground development progresses at the Kansoko mine,
part of the Kamoa copper deposit and adjacent to Kakula.

Electricity for the grid also ranks high among China’s airpocalyptic priorities. A study produced for the United Nations Environment Programme credits the country with a 17% increase in renewable electricity investment last year, most of it going to wind and solar. Almost $103 billion, China’s renewables investment comes to 36% of the world total.

Just as EVs remain more copper-dependent than internal combustion, wind and solar call for much more of the conductive commodity than do other types of electricity generation. Friedland sees additional disruptive demand in easily cleaned copper surfaces now increasingly used in hospitals, care homes, cruise ships and other places where infectious diseases might lurk.

He sees a modest copper supply deficit now, with a crisis possibly starting as soon as 2019. The world needs a new generation of copper mines, he said, repeating his unkind comparison of today’s low-grade, depleting mines to “little old ladies waiting to die.” The world’s largest producer, the BHP Billiton NYSE:BHP/Rio Tinto NYSE:RIO Escondida mine in Chile, is down to a 0.52% grade.

Copper recently hit a two-year high of about $6,400 a tonne. But, citing Bernstein data, Friedland said new mines would require a $12,000 price.

Not Kamoa-Kakula, though. He proudly noted that, with an indicated resource grading 6.09%, it hosts “the richest conceivable copper deposit on this planet.”

I’ve never been as bullish in my 35 years on a project.—Robert Friedland

A JV with Ivanhoe and Zjin Mining Group each holding 39.6% and the DRC 20%, Kamoa-Kakula inspires “a plethora of superlatives.” The veteran of Voisey’s Bay and Oyu Tolgoi added, “I’ve never been as bullish in my 35 years on a project.”

The zillionaire likes zinc too, which his company also has in the DRC at the 68%-held Kipushi project. With a measured and indicated grade of 34.89%, the Big Zinc zone more than doubles the world’s next-highest-grade zinc project, according to Ivanhoe. There’s copper too, with three other zones averaging an M&I grade of 4.01%.

“Everything good in the Congo starts with a ‘K’,” he said enthusiastically.

But recklessly, in light of the DRC’s controversial Kabila family. In June Ivanhoe was hit by reports that the company has done deals with businesses held by the president’s brother, Zoe Kabila, although no allegations were made of wrongdoing.

The family has run the country, one of Africa’s poorest, since 1997. Current president Joseph Kabila has been ruling unconstitutionally since November, a cause of sometimes violent protest that threatens to further destabilize the DRC.

As the New York Times reported earlier this month:

An implosion of the Democratic Republic of Congo, a country almost the size of western Europe, could spill into and involve some of the nine countries it borders. In the late 1990s, neighbouring countries were sucked into what became known as the Great War of Africa, which resulted in several million deaths.

Friedland’s nearly hour-long address made no mention of jurisdictional risk. But the audience of hundreds, presumably most of them retail investors, responded warmly to the serial success story. He’s the one who, after Ivanhoe languished at five-year lows in early 2016, propelled the stock more than 300% over the last 12 months.

King’s Bay prepares for Newfoundland copper-cobalt field program

July 26th, 2017

by Greg Klein | July 26, 2017

Update: Effective August 14, 2017, King’s Bay Gold begins trading as King’s Bay Resources TSXV:KBG.

Copper-cobalt findings dating to the 19th century have King’s Bay Gold TSXV:KBG about to begin Phase I exploration on its Trump Island project off Newfoundland’s northern coast. The company has a team ready to study historic data prior to geophysics and grab sampling on the 200-hectare property. Depending on results, Phase II could incorporate drilling.

King’s Bay prepares for Newfoundland copper-cobalt field program

The property’s exploration history dates to 1863, when a Cornish miner sunk a six-metre shaft to follow a zone of massive chalcopyrite. Mineralization reportedly expanded with depth but the technology of the time prevented further excavation. Nevertheless the Cousin Jack reportedly shipped to Wales high-grade copper-cobalt material archaically recorded as “40 pounds per fathom.”

Grab samples collected near the shaft in 1999 showed historic, non-43-101 results up to 3.8% copper, 0.3% cobalt, 2.9 g/t gold and 10.9 g/t silver.

Located seven miles south of the town of Twillingate, Trump Island has boat access to a highway 1.5 kilometres away.

Last month King’s Bay reported geophysical results from another copper-cobalt project, this one along a provincial highway in Labrador. Airborne VTEM over the 24,000-hectare Lynx Lake property revealed a shallow anomaly of high resistivity about 400 metres in diameter and 50 to 300 metres in depth. The results came from the project’s West Pit, where historic, non-43-101 grab samples showed up to 1.03% copper, 0.566% cobalt, 0.1% nickel, 5 g/t silver, 0.36% chromium, 0.39% molybdenum and 0.23% vanadium.

Lynx Lake’s summer agenda includes higher-resolution ground geophysics, possible stripping to expose bedrock south of the pit and follow-up work on historic soil samples on the property’s southeastern area, along with mapping and sampling over both areas.

The company’s portfolio also includes three Quebec properties with historic, non-43-101 cobalt results.

Earlier this month King’s Bay closed a first tranche totalling $316,250 of a private placement offered up to $725,000. The company expects to close the second tranche by the end of August. King’s Bay closed a previous financing of $938,752 in January.

Read about cobalt supply and demand.

See an infographic about cobalt.

Castle Silver Resources adds gold to cobalt-silver assays, expands drilling at Ontario past-producer

July 19th, 2017

by Greg Klein | July 19, 2017

As underground mini-bulk sampling brings high-grade results, Castle Silver Resources TSXV:CSR has increased its surface drill program at a former mine near Ontario’s Cobalt camp. An 82-kilogram sample of vein material taken near a first-level adit graded 1.48% cobalt, 5.7 g/t gold and 46.3 g/t silver. Nickel values are pending. Meanwhile the Phase I surface drill program that began earlier this month with a 1,500-metre goal has been increased to 2,000 metres in approximately 20 holes.

Castle Silver Resources adds gold to cobalt-silver assays, expands drilling at Ontario past-producer

Visible cobalt from a vein on Castle
Silver Resources Beaver project.

The gold grades have the company re-checking a previous batch of chip samples that weren’t assayed for the yellow metal. The company’s also extracting another sample from the same area to verify the results.

Castle Silver noted that the samples are “selective and should not be considered representative of mineralization underground or elsewhere on the property.”

Eighty kilometres southeast, Castle Silver has been collecting surface samples on its 100%-optioned Beaver project, another former silver mine with cobalt potential. Samples taken in 2013 from waste rock left by historic extraction graded 7.98% cobalt, 3.98% nickel and 1,246 g/t silver.

On closing a $882,500 financing last week, the company’s private placement total has hit nearly $2.6 million since March.

Read more about Castle Silver Resources here and here.

Geophysical anomaly heightens King’s Bay interest in Labrador cobalt project

June 19th, 2017

by Greg Klein | June 19, 2017

Update: Effective August 14, 2017, King’s Bay Gold begins trading as King’s Bay Resources TSXV:KBG.

Newly analyzed data has King’s Bay Gold TSXV:KBG planning to resume its search for copper and cobalt beside the Trans-Labrador Highway. Results from last winter’s 382-line-kilometre airborne VTEM survey over the Lynx Lake project reveal a shallow anomaly of high resistivity estimated at about 400 metres in diameter and 50 to 300 metres in depth. The finding comes from the property’s West Pit, where historic, non-43-101 grab samples assayed up to 1.03% copper, 0.566% cobalt, 0.1% nickel, 5 g/t silver, 0.36% chromium, 0.39% molybdenum and 0.23% vanadium.

Geophysical anomaly heightens King’s Bay interest in Labrador cobalt project

Cutting right through the property, the highway offers year-round access to the town of Happy Valley-Goose Bay, about 1.5 hours
away. Powerlines are under construction along the northern
part of the property.

Summer plans now call for higher-resolution ground geophysics over the target area, potentially followed by overburden stripping to expose bedrock south of the pit. The crew will also follow up on historic soil sample anomalies on the property’s southeastern area. Detailed mapping and sampling will cover both areas.

Interest began in the property as the highway was being built in 2008. A contractor with prospecting experience noticed disseminated and massive sulphides beside the new route. Along with the West Pit results, grab samples east of the highway brought non-43-101 results up to 1.39% copper, 0.94% cobalt, 0.21% nickel and 6.5 g/t silver.

Lynx Lake began as a 2,000-hectare acquisition which King’s Bay expanded to about 24,000 hectares following a review of data from government regional low-resolution magnetic surveys and preliminary handheld EM surveys.

The quest for cobalt has led King’s Bay to other acquisitions. In February the company announced a 100% option on the Trump Island copper-cobalt property in Newfoundland. Earlier that month King’s Bay picked up three Quebec properties with historic, non-43-101 cobalt sampling results.

The company closed a $938,752 private placement in January.

Read about cobalt supply and demand.

See an infographic about cobalt.

Castle Silver Resources samples 1.8% cobalt and 8.6% nickel at former silver mine

June 12th, 2017

by Greg Klein | June 12, 2017

High-grade silver distracted previous operators of Ontario’s Castle mine from high-grade cobalt and nickel, says the current project operator. Among the evidence are initial chip sample results from an underground program at Castle Silver Resources’ (TSXV:CSR) property, about 80 kilometres northwest of the historic Cobalt camp. The first five samples averaged 1.06% cobalt, 5.3% nickel and 17.5 g/t silver, with the three best assays showing:

  • 1.8% cobalt, 8.6% nickel and 25.2 g/t silver

  • 1.6% cobalt, 7.6% nickel and 32 g/t silver

  • 0.81% cobalt, 5.9% nickel and 4.1 g/t silver
Castle Silver Resources samples 1.8% cobalt and 8.6% nickel at former silver mine

Pinkish alteration reveals cobalt mineralization
just inside an adit at the former Castle silver mine.

The samples were selective “and should not be considered representative of the mineralization hosted within the target area,” the company pointed out. The samples were composites taken from a 200-kilogram bulk sample extracted a short distance inside the adit.

As reported last week, the remainder will go through the company’s proprietary Re-2OX hydrometallurgical process to produce cobalt powder samples for battery manufacturers.

Castle Silver has also been testing Re-2OX for its recycling potential in recovering lithium-cobalt from Li-ion batteries. The process “is designed for high recovery of multiple metals and elements, opening opportunities that simply didn’t exist decades ago at this mine or throughout the northern Ontario silver-cobalt district,” said president/CEO Frank Basa.

The 3,252-hectare project’s former mine consists of “11 levels covering a footprint 727 metres east-west, 455 metres north-south and 258 metres deep,” he added.

Lying under much of the property is the 300‐metre-thick Nipissing diabase intrusive, which Castle Silver interprets as a potential heat source “that mobilized various metals—notably, of course, silver intimately associated with cobalt, but also gold, copper, zinc and nickel.”

Underground bulk sampling continues as the company also builds a 3D model from historic data.

With an oversubscribed second tranche that closed last month, Castle Silver has so far raised a total of $966,500 from a private placement offer that’s been increased to $1.2 million.

Castle Silver also holds a 100% option on the Beaver and Violet cobalt-silver properties hosting former mines near the town of Cobalt, 80 kilometres southeast.

Read about cobalt supply and demand.